On March 14, 2017, the first two pages of Trump's 2005 federal income tax returns were leaked to Rachel Maddow and shown on MSNBC. The document states that Trump had a gross adjusted income of $150 million and paid $38 million in federal taxes. The White House confirmed the authenticity of these documents and stated: "Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns."[454][455]
The foundation's tax returns show that it has given to health care and sports-related charities, as well as conservative groups.[222] In 2009, for example, the foundation gave $926,750 to about 40 groups, with the biggest donations going to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation ($100,000), the New York–Presbyterian Hospital ($125,000), the Police Athletic League ($156,000), and the Clinton Foundation ($100,000).[223][224] From 2004 to 2014, the top donors to the foundation were Vince and Linda McMahon of WWE, who donated $5 million to the foundation after Trump appeared at WrestleMania in 2007.[221] Trump later named Linda McMahon as Administrator of the Small Business Administration.[225]
The alt-right movement coalesced around Trump's candidacy,[431] due in part to its opposition to multiculturalism and immigration.[432][433][434] Members of the alt-right enthusiastically supported Trump's campaign.[435] In August 2016, he appointed Steve Bannon—the executive chairman of Breitbart News—as his campaign CEO; Bannon described Breitbart News as "the platform for the alt-right."[436] Trump personally condemned the alt-right in an interview after the election.[437]
Donald Trump, in other words, is the first person to run openly and without apology on a platform of American decline. Think about that for a moment. “Make America Great Again!” is indeed an admission in the form of a boast. As he tells his audiences repeatedly, America, the formerly great, is today a punching bag for China, Mexico… well, you know the pitch. You don’t have to agree with him on the specifics. What’s interesting is the overall vision of a country lacking in its former greatness.

These days, Mr. Fleiss does what American TV viewers are doing in record numbers — he sits glued to cable news, watching a panel of experts discuss the latest developments in the sprawling, intricate, unpredictable 24/7 show that is Donald Trump’s presidency. “This is the future of the world and the safety of mankind and the health of the planet,” Mr. Fleiss told me. He paused. “I should’ve thought of that one.”


Trump allies — projecting buoyancy about a race the president approaches with historically weak approval ratings — say the bombast reflects his confidence: Trump privately claims to be unimpressed with the Democratic crop, calling its major figures grossly unprepared for prime time and too liberal for the general electorate. Aides and allies said they expect the smattering of public broadsides to pick up significantly after the midterms.
Trump may have criticized Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, in a way I found inappropriate for a President to do, but his opponents have thrown out the millennia-old principle that a man is to be presumed innocent. The President may have enacted tariffs I find harmful to the economy, but his opponents are willfully destroying a good, innocent man so they can keep destroying children.

It turns out that about 90,000 “Keep America Great” flags for President Trump’s campaign are manufactured not in the U.S.A., but in China. According to China Labor Watch, at one Trump factory in China, workers are forced to work 12-hour shifts, at least 6 days a week, at a monthly salary of just $365, with some workers making less than a dollar an hour. Given the choice between hiring American workers at a living wage or hiring much less expensive workers from China that he can exploit, Trump opts for the low-cost overseas labor day in and day out.
The political press has behaved as co-conspirators with the Democrats in the Kavanaugh matter. They have clearly been fully co-opted. Reporters are planting their flags with the so-called Resistance and donning pink hats instead of defending truth and reporting facts. There is much in this present political age about which I am uncertain. But there is one thing about which I am absolutely certain. President Trump is not my enemy and too many progressives view me as theirs.
Before being inaugurated as president, Trump moved his businesses into a revocable trust run by his eldest sons and a business associate.[234][235] According to ethics experts, as long as Trump continues to profit from his businesses, the measures taken by Trump do not help to avoid conflicts of interest.[236] Because Trump would have knowledge of how his administration's policies would affect his businesses, ethics experts recommend that Trump sell off his businesses.[235] Multiple lawsuits have been filed alleging that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution due to his business interests; they argue that these interests allow foreign governments to influence him.[236][237] Previous presidents in the modern era have either divested their holdings or put them in blind trusts,[234] and he is the first president to be sued over the emoluments clause.[237]
While in college from 1964 to 1968, Trump obtained four student deferments from serving in the military.[13][14] In 1966, he was deemed fit for service based upon a medical examination and in July 1968, after graduating from college, was briefly classified as eligible to serve by a local draft board. In October 1968, he was given a medical deferment which he later attributed to spurs in both heels, and classified as 1-Y, "unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency."[15] In the December 1969 draft lottery, Trump's birthday, June 14, received a high number which would have given him a low probability to be called to military service even without the 1-Y.[15][16][17] In 1972, he was reclassified as 4-F, disqualifying him for service.[16][18]
Trump's paternal grandfather, Frederick Trump, first immigrated to the United States in 1885 at the age of 16 and became a citizen in 1892.[20] He amassed a fortune operating boomtown restaurants and boarding houses in the Seattle area and the Klondike region of Canada during its gold rush.[20] On a visit to Kallstadt, he met Elisabeth Christ and married her in 1902. The couple permanently settled in New York in 1905.[21] Frederick died from influenza during the 1918 pandemic.[22]
In April 2018, Trump enacted a "zero tolerance" immigration policy that took adults irregularly entering the U.S. into custody for criminal prosecution and forcibly separated children from parents, eliminating the policy of previous administrations that made exceptions for families with children.[603][604] By mid-June, more than 2,300 children had been placed in shelters, including "tender age" shelters for babies and toddlers,[605] culminating in demands from Democrats, Republicans, Trump allies, and religious groups that the policy be rescinded.[606] Trump falsely asserted that his administration was merely following the law.[607][608][609] On June 20, Trump signed an executive order to end family separations at the U.S. border.[610] On June 26 a federal judge in San Diego issued a preliminary injunction requiring the Trump administration to stop detaining immigrants parents separately from their minor children, and to reunite family groups that had been separated at the border.[611]
Trump has often said that he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father, and that he had to pay it back with interest.[86] In October 2018, The New York Times published an exposé drawing on more than 100,000 pages of tax returns and financial records from Fred Trump's businesses, and interviews with former advisers and employees. The Times concluded that Donald Trump "was a millionaire by age 8",[87] and that he had received at least $413 million (adjusted for inflation) from his father's business empire over his lifetime.[88] According to the Times, Trump borrowed at least $60 million from his father, and largely failed to reimburse him.[87] The paper also described a number of purportedly fraudulent tax schemes, for example when Fred Trump sold shares in Trump Palace condos to his son well below their purchase price, thus masking what could be considered a hidden donation, and benefiting from a tax write-off.[88] A lawyer for Trump said the "allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory". A spokesman for the New York State tax department said the agency was "vigorously pursuing all appropriate areas of investigation".[89] New York City officials also indicated they are examining the matter.[90]

None of the Chinese factory owners and managers quoted in the July 2018 news reports either affirmed or denied that the Trump campaign itself had been responsible for the significant increase in orders in recent months, and none of them identified anyone else as being a major customer, so we do not know who was behind orders for the many thousands of “Trump 2020” flags produced in China in the first half of 2018.

In 2003, Trump became the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show The Apprentice, in which contestants competed for a one-year management job with the Trump Organization; applicants were successively eliminated from the game with the catchphrase "You're fired".[244][238][245] He went on to be co-host of The Celebrity Apprentice, in which celebrities compete to win money for their charities.[244][245][246]


The data tell conflicting stories. Mueller’s approval rating has indeed sunk under the weight of Trump’s withering Twitter barrage, but some analyses suggest that Stepien and DeStefano are engaged in magical thinking. An NBC News poll in late June reported that only a third of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Ohio, and Florida felt Trump deserved to be re-elected. Trump’s immigration crackdown also sent his numbers crashing, if perhaps only temporarily. A Gallup survey conducted days after the Duluth speech recorded a four-point drop in his approval rating, to 41 percent; while his disapproval numbers spiked five points. Seventy-five percent of voters said immigration was a “good thing.” Trump’s siding with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies at the Helsinki summit had the rare effect of bringing Democrats and Republicans together against him. But one lesson of 2016 is that numbers like that may not mean very much when it comes to Trump. Everyone knows unicorns aren’t real, and yet, there it was.

Prior to 2008, “American exceptionalism” appeared in news articles a handful of times a year, but after Obama was elected the references skyrocketed, largely because of a drumbeat from Republicans. Once the tea party wave made John Boehner speaker of the House in 2010, for example, he summarized the growing consensus among Republicans: Obama had turned his back on the Founding Fathers to the point where he “refused to talk about American exceptionalism.” (In fact, in 2009 the president had stated, “I believe in American exceptionalism.”) The phrase’s popularity in GOP talking points—often in attacks on Obama’s “socialist” policies—paralleled the spread of conspiracy theories about his citizenship and supposed jihadi sympathies.
Trump signaled his intention to run for a second term by filing with the FEC within hours of assuming the presidency.[772] This transformed his 2016 election committee into a 2020 reelection one.[773] Trump marked the official start of the campaign with a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on February 18, 2017, less than a month after taking office.[774] By January 2018, Trump's reelection committee had $22 million in hand[775] and it had raised a total amount exceeding $50 million towards the 2020 campaign as of July 2018.[776]
Trump operated golf courses in several countries.[193] He hosted several boxing matches at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, including Mike Tyson's 1988 heavyweight championship fight against Michael Spinks.[195] He also acted as a financial advisor to Mike Tyson.[196] In 1989 and 1990, Trump lent his name to the Tour de Trump cycling stage race, which was an attempt to create an American equivalent of European races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia.[197]
O'Halleran faces a tight race in Arizona's 1st Congressional District against Republican Wendy Rogers, who was not included at the Mesa rally. Trump won that district by 1 percentage point in 2016 and O'Halleran has supported Trump 54 percent of the time where the administration's legislative preference is known, according to figures tracked by the website FiveThirtyEight.
By the time Donald Trump stepped onstage during Lee Greenwood’s rendition of “God Bless the U.S.A.” at the Make America Great Again rally in Duluth, Minnesota, on the evening of June 20, he was confronting the first crisis of his re-election campaign. Wrenching reports of federal agents ripping infants from their parents’ arms—the result of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration crackdown at the southern border—had been playing in a constant loop on cable news. Chaos had engulfed the West Wing, too, as officials offered shifting and conflicting explanations for the policy: Trump blamed Democrats; Attorney General Jeff Sessions called it a “deterrent”; Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said it wasn’t. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to appear on-camera to defend the separations, according to two sources close to her. Melania Trump issued a rare statement critiquing her husband’s policy without first clearing it with White House officials, a source said; she even asked her press secretary to call a Trump surrogate and thank him after he derided the policy on CNN.
There is a lot in Erick's article that I agree with. I agree with his calling out so-called conservatives who ignore their principles to be on the side of trashing Trump. Character assassination is wrong, regardless of who the target is. Unfortunately, there are a lot more conservatives who have thrown aside their principles to jump on the Trump train, especially conservative media types who are just out to make money off of Trump Kool-Aid drinkers. (Examples, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Hugh Hewitt, etc.) I vehemently disagree with Erick's conclusion that because the Democrats' actions are so awful, we should back Trump in 2020. Uh, no. I'm sorry, but character matters, integrity matters, principles matter, issues matter. Donald Trump is doing tremendous long-term damage to the GOP. He is doing more to help the Democrats succeed than any Democrat has in the last 20 years. Trump is cancer to the conservative movement. Not going to support his destroying the cause I fought for all of my life. Not going to happen. Ever.
On March 14, 2017, the first two pages of Trump's 2005 federal income tax returns were leaked to Rachel Maddow and shown on MSNBC. The document states that Trump had a gross adjusted income of $150 million and paid $38 million in federal taxes. The White House confirmed the authenticity of these documents and stated: "Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns."[454][455]
By the time Donald Trump stepped onstage during Lee Greenwood’s rendition of “God Bless the U.S.A.” at the Make America Great Again rally in Duluth, Minnesota, on the evening of June 20, he was confronting the first crisis of his re-election campaign. Wrenching reports of federal agents ripping infants from their parents’ arms—the result of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration crackdown at the southern border—had been playing in a constant loop on cable news. Chaos had engulfed the West Wing, too, as officials offered shifting and conflicting explanations for the policy: Trump blamed Democrats; Attorney General Jeff Sessions called it a “deterrent”; Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said it wasn’t. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to appear on-camera to defend the separations, according to two sources close to her. Melania Trump issued a rare statement critiquing her husband’s policy without first clearing it with White House officials, a source said; she even asked her press secretary to call a Trump surrogate and thank him after he derided the policy on CNN.
Trump has often referred to the press as "fake news media" and "the enemy of the people".[328] He has privately and publicly mused about taking away critical reporters' White House press credentials (despite, during his campaign, promising not to do so once he became president).[329] On his first day in office, Trump falsely accused journalists of understating the size of the crowd at his inauguration, and called the media "among the most dishonest human beings on earth".
Serious proposals to impeach Trump for obstruction of justice were made in May 2017, after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey[761][762][763] and allegations surfaced that Trump had asked Comey to drop the investigation against Michael Flynn.[764] A December 2017 resolution of impeachment failed in the House by a 58–364 margin.[765] Since the Republicans control both the House and the Senate, the likelihood of impeachment during the 2017–2019 115th Congress is considered remote.[766][767]
Two of Trump's 15 original cabinet members were gone within 15 months: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign in September 2017 due to excessive use of private charter jets and military aircraft, and Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo in March 2018 over disagreements on foreign policy.[695][684] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018 amidst multiple investigations into his conduct.[696]
Perhaps, Trump believes, America was great during the World War I era. In the early 20th century, women died from childbirth in huge numbers. Children, too, perished at astounding rates. Married women typically couldn't open their own bank accounts or have independent access to their money. Birth control — even talking about the benefits of birth control — was largely illegal. Jim Crow laws were in full effect, with the Supreme Court holding a few years earlier that keeping the races "separate but equal" was just fine and dandy (although of course in reality, separate meant vastly unequal). The Ku Klux Klan continued to gain in popularity. For years, Congress wasn't even able to outlaw lynching: Southern Democrats, then the party that represented conservatives whites in the South, repeatedly defeated anti-lynching bills. 

Or what about Oprah Winfrey? She’s dipped her toe into politics before, backing Mr. Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries. And after the conservative columnist John Podhoretz recently called her the Democrats’ best hope in 2020 (“If you need to set a thief to catch a thief, you need a star — a grand, outsized, fearless star whom Trump can neither intimidate nor outshine — to catch a star”), Ms. Winfrey seemed open to the idea. She tweeted the article with the message to Mr. Podhoretz: “Thanks for your vote of confidence!”
Democrats might get started on honing an economic message that will resonate. That means exposing the weaknesses of the Trump economy now and highlighting the fact that corporations and those in the top 1 percent have been its main beneficiaries, not average workers. In other words, Democrats have to adopt the full-throated progressive critiques of the economy expressed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, whether or not either ends up as the party's standard bearer in 2020, and reject the whimpering compromises of Chuck Schumer.
Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a future president. But these days, for Democrats at least, it’s not just members of Capitol Hill’s upper chamber who are picturing themselves sitting in the Oval Office. Congressmen, governors, mayors, even people who hold no elected office — men and women at seemingly every rung of the political ladder, including no rung at all — are suddenly eyeing the White House.
You know what pi$$e$ me off? The complete lack of polling the last two weeks by CNN, MSNBC, ABC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and other liberal news polling outfits. They know the American people are outraged because of theirs, and Democrats, despicable behavior during the Kavanaugh confirmation. And I guess they're purposely not measuring it, because it doesn't fit their narrative.
Bannon said he wants Trump to use the 2018 midterms to bludgeon Trump’s likely challengers. “All of those Democrats need 2019 like a guy in the desert needs water. We’re going to take that away from them,” he said. “We’re going to call them out. Kirsten Gillibrand, show us what you got. Elizabeth Warren? Kamala Harris? Howard Schultz? He’s going to cut through these guys like a scythe through grass. He’s going to mock and ridicule them. He’s going to crush them. He’s going to fieldstrip these guys. They need 2019 to get ready. We won’t give it to them.” Indeed, Trump seemed to be doing just that. A couple of weeks later at a rally in Montana, Trump gleefully reprised his “Pocahontas” attack on Elizabeth Warren, offering to make a $1 million donation to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry.
On March 17, 2017 the campaign saw what was its highest single-day contribution total, with the campaign and its joint-fundraising-committee raising a combined total of $314,000.[246][247] By the end of May the RNC had raised more than $62 million in 2017. The RNC had already received more online donations than they had in the entire year of 2016.[137]
Trump's racially insensitive statements[285] have been condemned by many observers in the U.S. and around the world,[308][309] but accepted by his supporters either as a rejection of political correctness[310][311] or because they harbor similar racial sentiments.[312][313] Several studies and surveys have stated that racist attitudes and racial resentment have fueled Trump's political ascendance, and have become more significant than economic factors in determining party allegiance of voters.[313][314] According to an October 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll, 45 percent of American voters viewed Trump as racist and 40 percent did not.[315] In a June 2018 Quinnipiac University poll, 49 percent of respondents believed that Trump is racist while 47 percent believed he is not. Additionally, 55 percent said he "has emboldened people who hold racist beliefs to express those beliefs publicly."[316][317]
In 1968, Trump began his career at his father Fred's real estate development company, E. Trump & Son, which, among other interests, owned middle-class rental housing in New York City's outer boroughs.[105][106] Trump worked for his father to revitalize the Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which the elder Trump had bought in 1964.[107][108] The management of the property was sued for racial discrimination in 1969; the suit "was quietly settled at Fred Trump's direction."[108] The Trumps sold the property in 1972, with vacancy on the rise.[108]
The data tell conflicting stories. Mueller’s approval rating has indeed sunk under the weight of Trump’s withering Twitter barrage, but some analyses suggest that Stepien and DeStefano are engaged in magical thinking. An NBC News poll in late June reported that only a third of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Ohio, and Florida felt Trump deserved to be re-elected. Trump’s immigration crackdown also sent his numbers crashing, if perhaps only temporarily. A Gallup survey conducted days after the Duluth speech recorded a four-point drop in his approval rating, to 41 percent; while his disapproval numbers spiked five points. Seventy-five percent of voters said immigration was a “good thing.” Trump’s siding with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies at the Helsinki summit had the rare effect of bringing Democrats and Republicans together against him. But one lesson of 2016 is that numbers like that may not mean very much when it comes to Trump. Everyone knows unicorns aren’t real, and yet, there it was.
Stepien, a 40-year-old New Jersey operative, is an Establishment Republican out of central casting: trim, well dressed, and with impeccable hair. He was recruited to join the Trump campaign in August 2016, after befriending Kushner, and his current job is to effectively reverse-engineer a method to Trump’s madness. Despite the gloomy outlook for Republicans—a recent Real Clear Politics poll average showed Democrats with a six-point advantage—Stepien did his best to spin the White House’s message that Republicans could limit the damage in the midterms. “This is not an easy time to run and win as a Republican,” Stepien conceded. “[Trump] is trying to get all the people who voted for him in 2016 back out to the polls in 2018. The goal is to make those people who are presidential-year voters into midterm-election voters.”
The Washington Post reported that days after Comey's dismissal the special counsel started investigating whether Trump had obstructed justice.[724] Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow stated that he had not been notified of any such investigation.[725][726] ABC News later reported that the special counsel was gathering preliminary information about possible obstruction of justice but had not launched a full-scale investigation.[727]
Kennedy: So the way we manufacture the hat — the first process is spreading material. We take it right to the embroidery machine, and then from embroidery we're taking it right to the sewing operation, where we're creating both the bill and the crown separately, so that eventually we put these two parts together by attaching the sweatband, finishing it with the plastic strap that's made in the US. Then we steam the hat, press the hat, and we also finish the cord and glue that down before we pack the hat.
Donald Trump, in other words, is the first person to run openly and without apology on a platform of American decline. Think about that for a moment. “Make America Great Again!” is indeed an admission in the form of a boast. As he tells his audiences repeatedly, America, the formerly great, is today a punching bag for China, Mexico… well, you know the pitch. You don’t have to agree with him on the specifics. What’s interesting is the overall vision of a country lacking in its former greatness.
“This is politics 101: Define your opponents before they can define themselves,” Jason Miller, a former top aide to Trump’s 2016 campaign, said in a recent interview. “For many of these top-flight Democratic presidential contenders, voters will learn far more about them from what President Trump says than what they have to say for the next year to 18 months.”
During the rally, Trump spent approximately fifteen minutes commenting on the events in Charlottesville and criticizing the media for supposedly mischaracterizing his words, while omitting previous statements about the rally's "many sides" of culpability (a move that was later criticized as misleading).[173][177][178][179] Trump also issued repeated attacks towards the media, accusing them of being "liars" and "sick people" responsible for creating "division" in the country.[180][181] He accused activists seeking the removal of Confederate monuments of “trying to take away our history"[179] and hinted at pardoning Joe Arpaio.[173][177] Trump also made verbal attacks on both of Arizona's US Senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain.[173][177][182] Additionally, Trump threatened to shutdown the U.S. Federal Government if he was unable to secure funding to construct a border wall,[183][179][184][185] mentioned tensions with North Korea,[186] accused Democrats of being "obstructionists",[183] described his own restraint as being "very presidential",[187] and declared that "at some point” the United States would "end up probably terminating the North American Free Trade Agreement.[187]
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